Home Menu Search

Whatever the weather tyres could be a life saver this winter

10 December 2020

News from TyreSafe.

RoadSafe partner TyreSafe is urging drivers to check their tyres are in a roadworthy condition now that winter is here.

Whether it’s snow, wintery showers, persistent rain or a mixture of them all that will be the dominant weather condition, adequate tread depth is going to be a primary safety requirement for all vehicles on the roads. It is the tyre’s tread that clears water from the road surface to keep a vehicle in contact with the road and provides at least some grip on snow and ice. The lower the tread depth, the lower that grip might be, especially as the tyre approaches the minimum legal limit of 1.6mm.

Driving with air pressures below the recommended settings can also significantly affect a tyre’s ability to grip. This is because an underinflated or overinflated tyre loses its shape, which in turn lowers the amount of contact it has with the road.

While expert drivers may alter tyre pressures under extreme off-road conditions, it’s dangerous to do so on a vehicle which is primarily to be driven on the roads and pressures should remain at the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended settings.

While most tyres on the road are primarily designed for summer, they are not dangerous to use in winter and, in fact, advances in technology mean they now perform better than ever before at low temperatures. However, they must be thoroughly inspected for roadworthiness and the driver must pay particular attention to road conditions and adjust their driving accordingly.

Winter tyres are the optimal choice for a vehicle during prolonged periods of cold weather. Even at extremely low temperatures, their rubber stays supple and, combined with an increased number of ‘sipes’ or grooves in the tread, they provide the highest levels of grip under these conditions. As the name implies, they are not best suited to year-round driving.     

All-season tyres, however, are an increasingly popular option as they provide near winter tyre performance but have the benefit of also having been designed to be driven all year-round. They also feature many more sipes than summer tyres, again increasing physical grip. However, they will not always offer the optimal performance of summer tyres in warm weather or winter tyres in the cold.                                                                                                                        

When deciding whether winter or all-season tyres are their best option, TyreSafe recommends owners consider their own driving requirements and the conditions they are likely to face.

For more information please access the TyreSafe website.

Related news, events and information

Winter tyres increase safety

2 November 2010 – The majority of UK motorists feel less safe driving in the winter, but nearly a fifth fail to make any...

Winter tyres are suitable for UK roads

3 December 2010 – Winter tyres improve grip in wet, cold, icy and snowy conditions. Winter tyres can be used all year round, but...

TyreSafe recommends a seasonal tyre change with the approach of Winter

26 October 2017 – Story from Newspress. When deciding whether winter or all-season tyres are their best option for the months...

Tyre Safety Month

1 October 2011 – Following two years of extreme winter weather and the prospect of another harsh season ahead, this October's...

British Gas opts for winter tyres

15 November 2010 – British Gas will fit winter tyres to more than 200 vans for the first time to maximise driver safety and...

Tyre checks needed in the wet

4 July 2012 – Story from Fleet News RoadSafe partner TyreSafe says the need for adequate tyre tread in the current wet...

Tyre Safety Materials Available

16 September 2011 – October's tyre safety month is focusing on driving in winter. Wet roads, cold temperatures, snow and ice can...

Differing forecasts make it imperative to be tyre safe for all conditions

29 January 2020 – Story from TyreSafe. UK charity TyreSafe, states that preparation is key and by carrying out routine checks...

Keep your tyres in check

21 July 2013 – Story from Newspress. The Institute of Advanced Motorists warned motorists to keep their tyres in check after...